Cloud Nothings were formed by university student Dylan Baldi in Cleveland, Ohio in 2009. Although they certainly sound like a band of middle-American youngsters, they don’t necessarily sound like a band of this year, as Attack On Memory would not have seemed out of place had it been released any time over the last two or three decades, bearing no instantly recognisable musical traits of recent times.
The album opens with it’s first single, ‘No Future/ No Past,’ the instruments and vocals gently rolling through the first few minutes, with Baldi’s voice getting more coarse and angry as the song goes on, before the instruments lose their discipline and break out into fury, with the mantra of the song’s title now being screamed over a jangle of strings and cymbals.
Second song ‘Wasted Days’ is by far the longest. On this track, and others, like ‘Separation,’ the flurry of instruments when the band is in full flight, together with the lo-fi production, create an overwhelming tempest of noise. They slow the song down though, showing a progressive side to their music, jamming with the song, taking it from relative calm into crescendos, and back out again.
The lengthy, progressive nature of ‘Wasted Days’ is a once-off though, with the next couple of tracks, ‘Fall In’ and ‘Stay Useless,’ having a punk feel to them, being short and to the point. Attack On Memory doesn’t really try anything new, and as a result isn’t anything special or even particularly memorable, but Cloud Nothings are doing their part to bring rebellious, youthful exuberance back into fashion, which isn’t a bad thing considering that 2011′s best albums were all quite well behaved, and few of them were noisy or aggressive enough to disturb the peace.
If you’re disillusioned with some of the ‘softer’ albums that have come out recently and are looking for a good, modern band that ignores the current musical zeitgeist for something a bit more old school, then Cloud Nothings might be for you, as they have reverted to a heavy, raw, drums-and-guitar approach to rock that’s full of energy, anger and spirit.
Cloud Nothings – ‘No Future, No Past’
Words: Adam Alexander